You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

New PM gets a question time grilling

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 13/12/2016 Sean Martin

Prime Minister Bill English has come through his first question time unscathed after opposition MPs grilled him on child poverty, the Pike River mine and superannuation.

Labour leader Andrew Little led the charge in parliament on Tuesday, asking Mr English what responsibility he took for the level of child poverty.

Mr English said the government had a proud record and reminded Mr Little that it raised benefits for the first time in 14 years.

Mr Little's response was to ask why the government hadn't set a target for reducing child poverty.

Mr English said several targets had been set for reducing welfare dependency.

"Signing up to a target doesn't change people's lives," he said.

Mr Little then challenged Mr English over the Pike River mine and why the government opposed re-entering it.

Mr English said it was a safety issue, not a political decision.

"The government is not going to be put in a position where a decision is made that puts lives at risk," he said.

NZ First's Denis O'Rourke took Mr English on over superannuation, asking how he could be trusted not to reduce it.

"It won't be reduced - there is no intention of changing the way it's calculated," Mr English said.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon